The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has launched its 2019 Manifesto, which outlines the trade body’s key policy recommendations aimed at promoting the value of flexible professional talent amid the fourth industrial revolution.

The document, which has been shared with senior politicians, outlines five main areas of focus:

  • Rethink changes to off-payroll rules in the private sector, which should, at least, be delayed pending a further impact review and completion of an assessment on employment status
  • Assign flexible employment and engagement policy to a junior minister as part of their portfolio in order to accurately assess the impact of proposed legislation and better understand the roles and requirements of self-employed professionals
  • Undertake a comprehensive review of employment status for tax and rights and consider introducing a new status for Independent Professionals
  • Introduce a dedicated visa route as part of the future skills-based immigration system, through which highly skilled contractors from overseas can come to the UK and support British businesses
  • Reform apprenticeship levy funding so that monies can be shared to assist the professional development of agency workers and Independent Professionals – particularly in talent-short STEM sectors such as digital, engineering and construction

On the launch, Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, commented:

“As the UK heads to the polls to select what may be our third Prime Minister this year, APSCo is taking the opportunity to share policies we want to influence in 2020 and beyond.”

“As the only UK and international trade body dedicated to representing the professional recruitment sector – boasting a membership of approximately 1000 members in the UK alone – we are in a unique position to advise on how the skilled workforce contributes to economic growth and UK competitiveness.”

“While Brexit continues to dominate both headlines and the campaign strategies of the main political parties, the reality is that conversations surrounding the UK’s future relationship with the EU, its workforce and the economy are intrinsically linked. We are proud to provide the professional recruitment community with a voice that is heard at the highest levels and we look forward to working with the next government to help shape future policy.”